Everyone and everything dies.

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Cheery, huh? Actually, it is. Stick with me on this one, folks.

Endings and death have been on my mind a whole lot lately.

First off, two days from now will be the one year anniversary of Andrea’s passing.

Secondly, about two months ago, Squee and I broke up, after about four years together. It’s okay, really. I still love and care about her. But things change.

Third, my new job is demanding, and causing me in many ways to re-evaluate myself as a person, in all sorts of ways. I go to bed early, get up early to drive a long way to do a job I’m sort of teaching myself to do as I do it. It can be exhausting.

Last night I came home from work fully intending to work on my side business, do some podcast related work, and attend to a nagging bill related chore too. Instead I sat on the couch, lost at Overwatch for about 2 hours, and put myself to bed early, feeling low of spirit.

This morning though, I feel great. I had plans to get out the door by 6:15, an hour ago. But those plans died on the vine as I realized some other things I had to do. I made breakfast, packed my lunch, changed the cat litter, and realized I don’t have to push myself to do everything and anything all at once.

This is something Andrea knew and knew well. Don’t mistake me, she wasn’t some sanctified guru who floated an inch off the ground, and whom nothing ever bothered. So many of the phone calls and visits we had with one another started off with one of us engaging in a good old fashioned bitching session about something.

But the thing she knew, and which I also know but keep forgetting which is also, by the way perfectly human, is that everything and everyone dies. Every moment dies. Every plan dies. And when they do, they leave the ground where I’m standing fertile and ready to receive this very next moment.

Take this morning. As I made my breakfast, and checked my watch, I thought I might have enough time to change the cat litter this morning. When I went to check it, it was in a terrible state (Sorry kitties!) and I knew that I had to change it. So I did. If that means my commute will bloom up to 90 minutes today (which is very likely), well so be it. That’s okay. I will witness the death of the old plan and welcome the new one.

I know that because of my abandonment issues I have a tendency to want things to last. When I see that long arc of persistence grow around me, I lean into it and get comfort from it. It’s not an entirely bad thing either. It’s immature to divide the world into simple, absolute binaries. Yin contains Yang, and vice versa.

No matter how much energy I pour into anyone or anything in my life, it will eventually die. That’s tragic, yes. But it’s also comforting. Love and pleasure come to a fold, yes. But so does pain and suffering. That’s why it’s so import to just keep swimming, like Andrea always used to say.

The fact that the swim ends is what gives it beauty.

It hasn't been easy for Marigold.

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First, when she was just a child. she had to go live with her awful aunt.  Then, there’s the very bad thing that made her run away from home.  

Eventually she grew up and found a great guy.  They got married, had a kid, everything seemed just fine. But it wasn’t.

Marigold realized what she really wanted.  She wanted him to spank her.  Not just that, either.  She wanted him to put her in diapers, and she told him.  

It didn’t go so well.

But that wasn’t going to stop her.  Because once she really knew who she was, that was when little marigold began to blossom.


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AuthorMako Allen

Tonight, a good friend did something very special for me.  They went out to dinner with me to help me process my grief about Andrea’s death.

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My Helpful Friend is something of a subject matter expert themselves on this matter, having recently had to deal with a death themselves. 

So we met. We sat.  We talked. I almost-cried a few times. I ate steak. It was good.  

One super helpful thing my friend described to me is that I would run into two sorts of pain in my grieving.  

  1. Punches to the head
  2. Punches to the gut

Type 1 punches are the things that make you think, that make you dig in, obsess, dredge up grief you thought you had already worked through and revisit it.  

Whereas type 2 punches are those quick, sharp, knock-the-wind out of you experiences.  Something catches you off guard, and you suddenly don’t quite know how you feel.

Here’s the thing though.  While experiencing these punches doesn’t feel very good, it’s normal and kind of good for you.

Andrea, she carved this special place in my heart, in my life.  I’m utterly, incontrovertibly changed by our friendship.  I don’t want  that not to matter.  I welcome  both the pain and the pleasure of how much she meant to me, and still means to me, even in her death.

I know that that’s uncomfortable.  I know that it’s not easy, not for me, and not for you.

 I’m grateful for the discomfort. And I’m grateful you’ve stuck around to share in it with me.

In a way, that was at the heart of my friendship with Andrea.  On the regular, we challenged one another, called each other on our bullshit.  My friend I had dinner with tonight helped me with some of that too, as we ate, commiserated, and connected.  It was damn fine.

I’m grateful for such good friends, those now gone, and those still with me.  

 

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AuthorMako Allen
CategoriesgratitudeNow

There's no easy way to say this.  Andrea has died.
She died on Wednesday, February 28th.  

I've been grieving for days.  

Andrea and I sharing a cuddle, and laughing together, back in 2010

Andrea and I sharing a cuddle, and laughing together, back in 2010

I've known Andrea, had her as a part of my life, for about 15 years now.  We met, first online, through live journal, and then in person, for the first time, at the Fetish Flea.

This was the first day we met in person.  Note the baby pride pin tie clip thing.  I gave her that, that day if I remember right.

This was the first day we met in person.  Note the baby pride pin tie clip thing.  I gave her that, that day if I remember right.

I love Andrea.  Not loved, but love.  She was among the people I am closest to on this planet.  I consider her family.  

Andrea and I have been one another's cheerleader and support for ages.  She was an utterly amazing human being.  Here's a description of herself she wrote for her Kensho Kitten blog.

I’m open-minded and I live outside the box. I love hard and refuse to play by the rules. I have several long-term Partners and a handful of very dear friends that I call my Chosen Family, and they fill my life with blessings.

I am introspective and I practice authenticity and self-acceptance, while encouraging others to do the same. I’m deeply spiritual but in a silly and irreverent way. Every day I pray that I may learn to have compassion for assholes; it’s called a practice for a reason.

I am a no BS, no head-games kinda girl, and I don’t deny uncomfortable truths. In fact, sometimes I enjoy talking about things that are ‘uncomfortable’ simply because society doesn’t want us to. Like bodily functions, especially at the dinner table!

You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

That was Andrea.  She loved Hello Kitty, unicorns, the color pink, and talking about farting and pooping and  coming.  (Not all at the same time, although in retrospect the idea and the conversation about such would have made her roar with laughter.)

I could (and have, and likely will again) go on about Andrea for hours and hours.  I'm sure there will be more posts about her.  I just went back and even made a Special Andrea Tag for my blog, to make it easier for you (and me) to find these posts again.

She occupies a very special place in my life and heart.  I have been grateful for her before, and will continue to be.

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In the course of my grief, I've been sort of binging on her.  Going back through old photos, old texts, listening to her appearances on the Big Little Podcast.  Just positively guzzling her digital self down, in big chugs.

That was when I stumbled across something of a gift that Andrea made for me, with me.

We did an episode of the podcast that was a personal interview with Frankie and Andrea, all about them, their love, their history.  During the interview, one of the more odd subjects that came up was how they both were these hard-charging, grizzled long distance travelers.  

On the regular, it's nothing for him to get in the car and drive 15 hours straight someplace.  Andrea used to take 19 hour long bus rides from Massachusetts to Michigan to visit with him.  And they both did those things regularly to come visit me, here in Virginia.  Often during these travels, they'd listen to episodes of the podcast.

Frankie joked on the show about how he'd be listening to Spacey and me on the show, and then the phone would ring and it would be me, and how weird and meta it was.  Plus, how when he'd be listening, he'd often respond to the podcast as if he were a part of the conversation in progress.  Andrea added that she did that too, and because she knew my humor so well, she could predict the things I'd say next, and how good it felt to be included, even though I didn't know it was happening.

Then, at 1:00:38 I observed how it was both sweet and creepy, because I could see people doing the same with the podcast for me, long after I was dead.

Hear it, her us for yourself.

When I heard that, this morning I broke out in tears.  I wailed.  I tortured myself with it.

Then, I stopped.  Because I knew just what Andrea would have to say to me about this self-torment, "So, how's that working for you?"

I laughed, a little at first, and then a whole bunch.

There you are, Andrea.  Right where you've always been.  I love you.

 

Posted
AuthorMako Allen